“The constitutional battle over ObamaCare has largely focused on the constitutionality of the individual mandate. Namely, does forcing individuals to buy health insurance violate the commerce clause? But as the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals prepares to hear Florida v. United States, a second issue is of equal importance: Was District Court Judge Roger Vinson correct to rule that the federal government can force states to expand their Medicaid programs as a precondition for continuing to receive matching federal funds for the program?”

“Monday’s New York Times had another classic entry in the annals of Obamacare. It seems that nursing homes are asking HHS for waivers from Obamacare’s requirement that employers provide health coverage to their workers. Nursing homes, even though they are in the health-care business, often don’t provide insurance to their employees. They can’t afford to.”

“Does that mean that the average uninsured patient is getting $1,000 of free medical care paid for by you and me? A lot of supporters of ObamaCare would like you to think so. That’s why we need a mandate, they argue, forcing people to buy health insurance whether they want it or not.
Ah…..but not so fast.”

“ObamaCare will add at least 18 million people to the Medicaid rolls. But according to a 2008 GAO report, increasing the amount of Medicaid dental care has had zero effect on the prevalence of dental disease in children.”

“Beginning in 2014, the Affordable Care Act will expand the mandatory population and require that states make Medicaid available to all individuals, married or single, under the age of 65 with incomes at or below 133 percent of poverty. Although the federal government will provide funds for states to cover this newly eligible population, it will increase the fiscal burden on many states, particularly those that do not already cover expanded optional populations.”

“Thanks to ObamaCare, we’re going to end up subsidizing those folks anyway, through Medicaid. And Medicaid won’t reduce the use of emergency room care, which tends to be far more expensive than regular visits to the doctor. Just the opposite. Expanding coverage, especially through Medicaid, will almost certainly increase the total number of visits to the emergency room. That’s because Medicaid recipients use emergency room services more than any other class of individual.”

“A variety of research shows that Americans enrolled in Medicaid have less access to health care, and when they do receive care, the quality is often inferior to the care provided to other similar patients. This Heritage Foundation paper lays out the research, and shows how Medicaid is failing current enrollees and taxpayers and must be fundamentally reformed. The Medicaid expansion contained in ObamaCare will further weaken the program—hurting those who really need it, as well as unduly burdening the taxpayers who pay for it.”

“The real problem, according to a new survey from the American College of Emergency Physicians, isn’t caused by people who don’t have insurance — it’s caused by people who do, but still can’t find a doctor to treat them.
A full 97 percent of ER doctors who responded to the ACEP survey said they treated patients ‘daily’ who have Medicaid (the federal-state health plan for the low-income), but who can’t find a doctors who will accept their insurance.”

“In 2012, Obamacare will create the ‘Value-Based Purchasing Program’ in Medicare. Using a pay-for-performance scheme, the program will reimburse hospitals and other health care providers at different rates based on how they score on performance measures chosen by the Secretary of Health and Human Services. Proponents of pay-for-performance see it as a way to use financial incentives to streamline and improve the quality of health care while attempting to reduce costs. But the fact is that standardization of the practice of medicine costs patients and physicians tremendously, and evidence shows it does very little to improve health outcomes.”

“President Obama’s plan for budget reform is to freeze these entitlement programs in their current arrangements and tinker at the margins — through, for instance, giving more power to Medicare’s Independent Payment Advisory Board or applying price controls to drugs sold through Medicare.
Along with higher taxes for high earners (families making $250,000 and up) and defense cuts, Obama’s deficit-reduction plan offers little innovation.
If Obama’s plan prevails, and these programs aren’t fundamentally reformed, poor and elderly Americans who depend on these programs will likely face much larger cuts in the future.”